Northwest

Jermar Jefferson calls ex-running backs coach Michael Pitre one of his greatest influences

Northwest

As Jermar Jefferson prepares for the NFL Draft in late April, one of the coaches that molded him into one of the nation’s top running backs is helping him take the next step in his football career.

Jefferson, who was one of four Beavers players to participate in Oregon State Pro Day on Thursday, said former running back coach Michael Pitre has been helping him throughout the pre-draft process.

“I’ve been talking to my ex running backs coach, Michael Pitre, a lot,” Jefferson revealed. “He’s been helping me a lot, and some of the staff here has been helping me a lot with interviews and things like that. And the facility I was working at was Sports Academy so a lot of those guys I’ve leaned on and they taught me a lot of things.”

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Pitre left Oregon State in February to join the Chicago Bears staff as running backs coach. He’s joined by former Beavs running backs Ryan Nall (2014-2017) and Artavis Pierce (2016-2019) in Chicago.

In three seasons with Oregon State, Pitre coached two of the best running backs in program history in Jefferson and Pierce, who became the first pair of OSU teammates to rush for 2,000-plus career yards.

“He’s a big influence,” Jefferson said. “I’d say that’s probably one of my favorite coaches, ever, in my life. Like, he’s a great coach. We went through a lot. I feel like he helped me when I was down and at my happiest moments, so I’d say Coach Pitre he helped me with being a student of the game, learning different fronts and coverages, life really. So not just football, he helped me off the field too. That’s a great person and a great coach.”

Like Pierce, Jefferson will lean on Pitre and other Pro Beavs to help him better understand what it takes to succeed at the next level. Jefferson is anticipated to hear his name called in the 2021 NFL Draft in rounds 4-7, according to media mock drafts. 

The 5-foot-10, 217-pound running back confirmed Thursday that he’s had pre-draft interviews with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles.